Analysis Of The Novel ' Mrs. Dalloway

2371 WordsNov 3, 201410 Pages
Mrs. Dalloway is a novel that examines the world of sexuality and gender amongst the repressive social structure of post-war London through Clarissa and Septimus, two individuals who struggle with queer desires and socially constructed categories of gender. The novel’s title suggests the inescapable structure that Clarissa in particular is bound to regarding the status and assumptions of what it means to be a woman. The particular sets of choices both Clarissa and Septimus make reveal a tumultuous outcome that speaks volumes about socially constructed ideologies and expectations and the negative effects it bears on individuals. The subject of sexual fluidity and gender roles is a contentious point of debate that Woolf bravely addresses primarily through Clarissa and Septimus. These two individuals undergo very different experiences, yet both must ultimately deal with psychological turmoil as a result of society’s outlook on queer desires and the demands to adhere to constructed identities of masculinity and femininity. Clarissa’s character is already subjected to the patriarchal expectations of women before the novel even begins. The title, Mrs. Dalloway, does not provide her first name, but the surname of a man she has married and implies that Clarissa has no autonomy outside of her duty as a wife and that her existence is dependent on her position in marriage. In choosing this particular title, Woolf is drawing attention to the problems of gender and asking the reader to

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